Headache Prevention and Treatment
Headaches are a problem that affects all of us young and old. In this section we are going to explain the question of headaches and share with you some techniques that may be used to relieve them. Chiropractor Thousand Oaks wants you to know that headache symptoms usually begin gradually. Many of Chiropractor Thousand Oaks patients come in with the sudden onset of severe headache pain which comes from a serious problem and or injury that requires immediate medical attention. Most of us know that the effects of a common headache are often described with symptoms of achiness, along with dull or throbbing pain. Usually the pain typically begins at the base of the skull/upper part of the neck and may radiate into the eye(s), the temple, or other locations. Almost all of us have had headaches that are felt on one or both sides of the head. To complicate the headache loud noises or bright lights may make them worse. In more intense cases of headaches some patients may become nauseated or experience odd smells, sounds, or sights before and during the headache attack.
What is the best way to evaluate a Headache?
Chiropractor Thousand Oaks Dr. Greg Celaya likes to impress on his patients that early diagnosis and treatment of headaches is very important in identifying a serious underlying cause for headaches. In most cases, Chiropractor Thousand Oaks will do an in-depth history and physical examination of the patent. This will help to determine if your symptoms are related to an easily treated problem, or if it is more serious.
Chiropractor Thousand Oaks Dr. Greg Celaya will carefully administer other tests that reproduce the symptoms of your headache to help develop a specific management plan for your condition. When necessary Chiropractor Thousand Oaks will also refer you to other doctors and health care providers. X-rays, laboratory tests and even advanced imaging studies like magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) may be necessary to do a complete and through comprehensive study of your headache symptoms. Chiropractor Thousand Oaks Dr. Greg Celaya will also ask you to complete a headache diary in which you will record the following information:
1) The day and time of each occurrence of headaches
2) The location of the headache.
3) What the headache feels like
4) What types of activities you were doing when the headache began
5) How long the headache lasts
6) What makes it feel better or worse
7) Anything else you notice before, during, or after the attacks
What Is the Treatment for Headaches?
Headache treatment is cause-related. At Advanced Health and Wellness Center we often treat our patients with tension-type headaches and headaches caused by problems with the joints and muscles in the neck, as well.
Chiropractor Thousand Oaks Dr. Greg Celaya also uses a comprehensive regiment of joint manipulation and mobilization of the neck, along with stretching and strengthening exercises. This has been quite effective in the treatment of this type of headache.
Advanced Health and Wellness Center also provides deep tissue massage and other forms of soft-tissue treatment that will help in your headache treatments.
Chiropractor Thousand Oaks is always investigating all of the new therapies that are being researched by qualified scientists in the medical industry.
The majority of our patients at Advanced Health and Wellness Center patients with headache symptoms recover completely after treatment. When we find patients with more serious cases that require aggressive treatment we will assist you in finding a medical headache specialist. Unfortunately, the recurrence rate of headaches is relatively high, particularly with tension-type headaches. If you have any questions or concerns about headaches we want you to call us and come in so we can discuss all options available to you.
So what Causes Headaches?
Headaches can be primary and secondary. Primary headaches do not result from some other health condition.
The first type of headache Chiropractor Thousand Oaks Dr. Greg Celaya will discuss is the most common type of headache or what is known as a primary headache. A primary headache is caused by problems with the neck muscles. Changes in the blood vessels inside the skull usually cause migraines. Other common types of headache include “cluster” headachesheadaches grouped together over weeks at a time; sinus headaches, associated with allergies and/or sinus infection; and headaches from poor vision.
Chiropractor Thousand Oaks Dr. Greg Celaya will tell you that a secondary headache results from some other cause or condition - head injury, concussion, blood vessel problems, or high blood pressure - or from side effects of some medications, infections in the head or sinuses or elsewhere in the body. Rare headache causes include tumors, aneurysms and other abnormal growths inside the skull, and toxic substances in the blood. Certain foods, such as monosodium glutamate (MSG), a food flavor enhancer, may cause headaches, as well, according to Chiropractor Thousand Oaks.
What can we do to prevent Headaches?
There is a few easy steps that we can focus on to prevent Muscle-tension headaches. These headaches can often be avoided by maintaining proper posture and neck movements while performing your normal activities.
You should try to remember these few simple suggestions in your ever day activities and situations
1) Avoid slouching
2) Avoid reading with your neck bent forward
3) Keep your computer monitor at eye level
4) Take frequent breaks from reading and working on the computer.
5) Try a low-fat, high-complex carbohydrate diet. A recent study demonstrated that such a diet can dramatically lower the frequency, intensity, and\duration of migraine headaches.
Does Back Pain Go Away on Its Own?
Chiropractor Thousand Oaks tells us that the literature shows that 80% (eighty percent) of people suffer from back pain at some point in their lives. The fact is that back pain is the second most common reason for visits to the doctor's office, outnumbered only by upper-respiratory infections. Most cases of back pain are mechanical or non-organic, i.e., not caused by serious conditions, such as inflammatory arthritis, infection, fracture, or cancer.
What Causes Back Pain?
Chiropractor Thousand Oaks tells us that the literature shows the back is a very complicated structure of bones, joints, ligaments, and muscles. We have all twisted the wrong way or just moved and had a pain flare up; you can sprain ligaments, strain muscles, rupture disks, and irritate joints, all of which can lead to back pain. While sports injuries or accidents can cause back pain, sometimes the simplest of movements-for example, picking up a pencil from the floor-can have painful results. In addition, arthritis, poor posture, obesity, and psychological stress can cause or complicate back pain. Back pain can also directly result from disease of the internal organs, such as kidney stones, kidney infections, blood clots, or bone loss.
Chiropractor Thousand Oaks knows that we all know back injuries are a part of everyday life, and the spine is quite good at dealing with these often "pulled" muscles. When we experience these very minor injuries they usually heal within 1 or 2 days. Some pain, however, continues. What makes some pain last longer is still not entirely understood, but Chiropractor Thousand Oaks tells us that the literature shows researchers suspect that the reasons may include stress, mood changes, and the fear of further injury that may prevent patients from being active. In addition, sometimes a painful injury or disease changes the way the pain signals are sent through the body, and, even after the problem has gone away or is inactive, the pain signals still reach the brain. It is as if the pain develops a memory that keeps being replayed.
Will Back Pain Go Away on Its own?
Until recently, Chiropractor Thousand Oaks tells us that the literature shows many researchers believed that back pain would "heal" on its own. We have learned, however, that this is not true at all. A recent study showed that when back pain is not treated, it may go away temporarily but will most likely return. The study demonstrated that in more than 33% of the people who experience low-back pain, the pain lasts for more than 30 days. Only 9% of the people who had low-back pain for more than 30 days were pain free 5 years later.
Chiropractor Thousand Oaks tells us that the literature shows in another study that looked at all of the available research on the natural history of low-back pain. The results showed that when it is ignored, back pain does not go away on its own. Those studies demonstrate that low-back pain continues to affect people for long periods after it first begins.
What Can I Do to Prevent Long-Term Back Pain?
If your back pain is not resolving quickly, please come and visit me at the Advanced Health and Wellness center. Your pain will often result from mechanical problems that we can address. Many of my chiropractic patients with relatively long-lasting or recurring back pain feel improvement shortly after starting chiropractic treatment. The relief they feel after a month of treatment is often greater than after seeing a family physician.
The point is that chiropractic spinal manipulation is a safe and effective spine pain treatment. It reduces pain, decreases medication, rapidly advances physical therapy, and requires very few passive forms of treatment, such as bed rest.
How Can I Prevent Back Pain?
1) Don't lift by bending over. Instead, always bend your hips and knees and then squat to pick up the object. Keep your back straight, and hold the object close to your body.
2) Don't twist your body while lifting objects.
3) Always push, rather than pull, when you must move heavy objects.
4) If you must sit for long periods, always take frequent breaks and stretch whenever possible.
5) Wear flat shoes or shoes with low heels. This is especially important for woman.
6) Exercise regularly. An inactive lifestyle contributes to lower-back pain.
What Should I Tell My Doctor of Chiropractic?
Before any treatment session, I always stress to my patients to tell me or your doctor if you experience any of the following:
Pain goes down your leg below your knee.
Your leg, foot, groin, or rectal area feels numb.
You have fever, nausea, vomiting, stomach ache, weakness, or sweating.
You lose bowel control.
Your pain is caused by an injury.
Your pain is so intense you can't move around.
Your pain doesn't seem to be getting better quickly.
Always consult with your doctor for the proper recommendations on the above symptons.
References The following material is referenced above.
Hestbaek L, Leboeuf-Yde C, Engberg M, Lauritzen T, Bruun NH, Manniche C. The course of low-back pain in a general population. Results from a 5-year prospective study. J Manipulative Physiol Ther 2003 May;26(4):213-9.
Hestbaek L, Leboeuf-Yde C, Manniche C. Low-back pain: what is the long-term course? A review of studies of general patient populations. Eur Spine J 2003 Apr;12(2):149-65.
Stig LC, Nilsson O, Leboeuf-Yde C. Recovery pattern of patients treated with chiropractic spinal manipulative therapy for long-lasting or recurrent low back pain. J Manipulative Physiol Ther 2001 May;24(4):288-91.
Nyiendo J, Haas M, Goodwin P. Patient characteristics, practice activities, and one-month outcomes for chronic, recurrent low-back pain treated by chiropractors and family medicine physicians: a practice-based feasibility study. J Manipulative Physiol Ther 2000 May;23(4):239-45.
Time to recognize value of chiropractic care? Science and patient satisfaction surveys cite usefulness of spinal manipulation. Orthopedics Today February 2003;23(2):14-15.